What is Motivation?
What motivates us to do or not to do something?
What motivates you to go to the gym, what motivates you to skip it?
What motivates you to choose a heavier weight, what motivates you to not?
Last week we focused on non-judgment and I think that’s perfect when it comes to looking at what the motivation is for your choices. I’ve often focused on themes that help us push past or beyond our resistance and challenges. Today, I would like to look at it from a different angle.
Thursday for example, I had scheduled to do my own training in between classes. However, my mind was so distracted about how I was going to communicate something important for another project, that all I could do was focus on that email. I was resistant to my workout because my commitment to communicating my best took precedence. As I look at a lot of the times I’ve skipped my own workouts over the past year, it was for this very same reason. My priorities at times changed. I didn’t realize it in the moment…. somewhere in the back of my mind I was just frustrated with myself for resisting my own training. However, if I take last weeks theme of non-judgment, and combine it with this weeks theme of looking at motivations, maybe next week I can apply new time management skills to make sure both priorities are taken care of.
I think many of you in class can relate to this. When your job feels like too much; perhaps you have a difficult deadline to make, you’re too mentally exhausted from the stress that the thought of going home and just sitting down feels more motivating then a heart pumping class, or that tweak in your shoulder has become so annoying that it prevents you from attending class……
Here are a variety of scenarios & ways to look at and honor what your body and mind need.
You choose to stay at work late and miss class
Option 1 – Can you go to the gym after? Even if there’s no class and you barely know what to do on the gym floor by yourself. Sometimes walking in the door and just doing something is better than doing nothing. Plus, you’re training your behavior to still prioritize your physical fitness.
Option 2 – Is there something you can change in your schedule tomorrow to go in the morning or to a different class than you would usually take? Think of it as a ‘make up’ in your schedule.
You’re too mentally or emotionally exhausted to work out
Option 1 – Can you go anyway? This is the type of day where just by getting in the door and moving your body. You win! You don’t have to use a heavy weight, jump high, or push your deepest range of motion. On this day, you may actually surprise yourself and once you get going you’re all in. On this day, again you won by getting in the door.
Option 2 – Get some rest. If we are not well rested then emotion regulation can be very difficult. Emotion regulation is essential for a healthy rational approach to our choices and goals. If your mind and body are way too exhausted and sensitive, then on this day perhaps skipping class and your workout and honoring your rest and recovery are the best choice.
Something in your body has felt tweaked for weeks and it’s not getting better. I have experienced this in my life in a variety of ways where it is something that I work through, ignoring the problem and making it worse…. or it becomes and excuse to avoid training.
Trust your intuition. we’ve taken multiple approaches to mindfulness in our movement. Perhaps a new level of attention to how you move and how it affects this injury could help your body fix it. Maybe you can do that in class, or maybe you need outside Physical therapy. Only you can choose. In an upcoming blog we will go into this concept further.
Similar to overwhelming mental stress, your body may need a day or week to let heal what is going on inside. Get creative! Isit something that requires full rest, or can you try a different type of class or workout that doesn’t impact that area?
NEAT – non exercise activity thermogenesis. This is how you can incorporate little activities and choices throughout your day that can make a BIG positive impact on your health and fitness over the course of months and years, no gym required. Perhaps I’ll make a blog of it’s own one day.
What this all comes down to through the lens of this weeks theme is, what are you motivated to do?
Are you motivated to make sure your workout happens? If so, then no matter what else is going on, you can find a creative way around that. It may involve missing your favorite class but you can still find something to do. Fitness is a part of life, and if your motivation is to prioritize a different part of life, that’s great too! Hopefully looking at balancing our motivations from this prospective can support us in being non-judgmental in our approach to and through our challenges.